How to Talk to Friends about Pre-planning Funerals
Starting the legacy conversation and discussing pre-planning funerals with friends and family members is never easy. Perhaps one of the most unpleasant conversations one can have with a loved one is about death. However, talking to friends about pre-planning funeral arrangements is possibly the best gift a friend can give another one.
Yes, discussing end-of-life arrangements is emotionally challenging – for both parties. However, initiating these conversations today will leave everyone involved in a more comfortable position for the future. Here’s how our caring funeral specialists recommend you respectfully start the conversation to encourage your friends to talk about pre-planning funeral arrangements.
Why Express Final Wishes?
No one knows precisely when he or she will die, taking the time now to think about funeral arrangements makes sense for everyone. Whether you are barely starting life as a young adult, or you are enjoying a peaceful retirement, discussing funeral plans with friends and family is a good thing.
In fact, according to the Annual Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study by the National Funeral Directors Association, 62.5 percent of consumers felt it was imperative to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members and friends. Only 21.4 percent had done so.
However, expressing your final wishes doesn’t have to be as detailed as what kind of flowers you’d like, or if there should be music during your funeral. The truth is, pre-planning funeral arrangements involves the more significant decisions, such as if whether you’d like to be buried or cremated. In many cases, a third of those organizing a funeral for a loved one doesn’t know the answer to these major questions.
Expressing your final wishes today will give clarity and guidance to your friends and family later.
How to Start the Conversation?
Death is often an unspoken subject around friends and family. The truth is that there’s no right or wrong way to approach this conversation. While some people might find it the easiest to discuss funeral pre-planning over dinner, others might find it disturbing or disrespectful.
No one knows your friends better than you. Find a quiet moment, free of any tension or stress, perhaps over a cup of coffee, or during a walk by the park. Starting the conversation will always be the hardest part.
To start the conversation, consider just telling the truth and explaining that you’ve been thinking about your end-of-life wishes, or maybe you recently attended another’s friend funeral, or you saw something on the news or the movies that made you think about your own funeral arrangements.
Making them Know Your End of Life Plans
If you are genuinely considering making all these decisions, then consider having a sit-down to discuss all your plans. Go over why you believe it is important for you to discuss your pre-planning arrangements and why you want them to be involved. Some of your friends may think something is wrong, reassure them that you are choosing to start planning to make things easier from them and your family in the future.
Sitting Down with a Funeral Director
If you believe your friends and family will have a harsh time with this conversation, consider sitting down with a funeral director. By doing this, you can have someone else guide the discussion and steer you in the right direction as to how and what to say about your final wishes.
Working with a funeral director is particularly helpful when you know there will be some tension coming from your friends. Having an external personal involved can help ease the stress of the moment. It will also help you understand the kind of decisions you need to make when choosing your pre-planning funeral arrangements.
Explaining the Benefits of Pre-planning Funerals
As you are discussing your end-of-life wishes, you also want to make sure you express the benefits of pre-planning your funeral. Often, friends won’t understand the purpose of having these discussions since they don’t want to think about their friends’ death.
This is the perfect opportunity to talk about the benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements. Explain that you will be saving your family the financial burden of paying for a funeral, not to mention the emotional stress of having to plan your funeral in the first place. Understanding why you are choosing to have this discussion will help everyone involve feel more comfortable about the subject.
What to Do Next?
After talking to your friends and family about your funeral plans, you want to make sure you formalize your wishes. Speaking to a funeral director helps to layout your funeral arrangements and make sure when the unexpected happens, your friends and family will have the protection that your funeral arrangements have been taken care of.
If you or someone you know is ready to discuss end-of-life plans with your friends, contact The Gardens of Boca Raton for a private consultation with one of our caring funeral specialists and our funeral director. Preparing for the unexpected will not only help you today but help your friends and family in the future. When you no longer are going to be able to be there, make sure your legacy will by pre-planning your funeral and burial arrangements today.